Remembering Old Nashville 2

FROM THE 50's, 60's & 70's



* Sadie Hawkins Day and the Hillbilly Day Festival and Parade in Madison. When Madison had the Hillbilly Days, they had a ice man that delivered blocks of ice to the stands. That ice man was Jim Randall. He ran a ice house in Madison for many years. He sold ice by the 100 lb blocks, 50 lb blocks, 25 lb blocks and 15 lb blocks. Also, the boat ramp at the end of Neely's Bend Road in Madison. Folks could go and put their boats in the Cumberland River (across the river was the mouth of Stones River). Madison was also the home of WENO Radio. WENO built a western town called Frontier Town complete with train and train robbers on horseback. In addition, WENO hosted a massive Easter Egg Hunt each year.
* Charlie Nicken's Barbeque on Jefferson Street with curb service and just a block from Sulfur Dell.
* The first Nashville McDonald's and the original Shoney's Big Boy, both in Madison. Who could forget the good ole SUNSET PARK at the end of Neely's Bend Road in Madison. Swimming pool, roller rink and concerts on week-ends.
* Driving out to Warner Parks for a little necking but, leaving quickly because your date is sure the "Hookman" was probably lurking in the bushes. Going to parties in the Sycamore Lodge in Shelby Park.
* Nashville's first major mall...One Hundred Oaks. Woolco, Harvey's, Penney's, Magnavox, John Simmons (Head Shop) & other exotic stores we were fascinated with when it opened.
* Seeing James Brown at Sulphur Dell or the Beach Boys at the new modern Municipal Auditorium.

* The Shrine Circus in the Coliseum Building at the Fairgrounds, the Dixie Flyers hockey team in the Municipal  Auditorium, the Nashville Vols at Sulphur Dell with the steep banks in the outfields and Coach Larry Gilbert pointing his finger to the high screen in right field for Charlie Workman or Tookie Gilbert to hit one out. Larry Munson was the radio play by play announcer for several years. The Harlem Globe Trotters in McQuiddy Gym at Lipscomb and Coo Coo Marlin and Marty Robbins racing stockcars at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
* Getting out of school for the State Fair. Knothole baseball at Fort Negley, swimming at the Harpeth Narrows, and high school fraternities and sororities and all those formals and combo parties!
* John F. Kennedy's open presidential limo motorcade through Nashville, and where you were when he was shot in Dallas (I was in school in the 8th grade at Walter Stokes when the announcement was made over the PA).
* All restaurants, movie theatres and even hospitals allowed smoking. The schools had zero air-conditioning.
* When the only great peanuts came from the Arcade.
* Remember when you could just ride out to the airport (Berry Field) and go stand outside on the observation deck and watch the planes land and take-off?
* The parade of kids in wheelchairs and crutches while the telethon hosts sang "Call 244 7 Oh Oh Oh" to the tune of The Saints Go Marching In. Call now and light up those lights!!!
* Getting all your home appliances at the Sears and Roebuck on Lafayette, your car parts at the Western Auto and everything else at your neighborhood hardware or drug store. Getting the latest Beatles' 45 at Zibart's Books or the hippest new hairstyle at Clyde's Music City Barbershop or experiencing Nashville's first lady barbers at Englands (they were babes too)...
* The fountains at Aladdin Industries lit with colored lights at night you could see from Murfreesboro Road.
* Receiving the polio vaccine on little sugar cubes in the school gym.
* Getting ready for school and the only TV program on would be Ralph Emery with Spider, Norm and the Band.
* National Guard Tanks stationed in Centennial Park when Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.
* Slot-car tracks, trampoline centers, go-cart tracks and miniature golf courses that sprung up and disappeared. The best miniature golf was on Thompson Lane at the railroad tracks.
* Real deep snows in the winter where school would be out for days and Centennial Pond would freeze for ice skaters. Everyone would rush to Inglewood Hardware for sleds and get the tire chains ready if Boyce Hawkins said snow was on the way.
* The Cold War brought an Air Force Early Warning Radar Station to the Joelton Area. Residents were certain that this was just like painting a big bulls-eye on Joelton for Russian missiles. 1962 and the Cuban Missile Crisis had school students practicing hiding under their desks in case of attack. Students took home slips to their parents to indicate whether children should be kept in school or sent home in event of missile attack.
* Friday night TV with "Night Train" and host Noble Blackwell, featuring artists like: Ironing Board Sam, James Brown, The Van Trease Trio and a very young Jimi Hendrix.
* Stiefs Jewelers windows displayed German made clocks with animated figures that would march out at the change of time intervals and dance and turn in time to music that you could stand and watch forever.  Stiefs Jewelers was on 6th Avenue North between Church and Union.  That was something you always had to do when you went downtown to have ham and rolls in Harveys basement at the counter which was the best lunch in Nashville.  As they always said,  "Harveys has it."
* When Nashville had two daily newspapers, the Tennessean in the morning and the Banner in the afternoon. Papers were delivered by boys walking or on
bikes and papers were placed on the front porch of homes.
* Where you got the best sports equipment, The Sportsman's Stores and Bill Clay's for hunting and fishing gear.
* Shoes were a big deal since the average kid only had a school pair and a Sunday pair. There was Stride Rite on Sixth and Flagg Brothers at the Arcade. However the ultimate was a pair of Red Goose Shoes from a Family Booterie Store. Every kid dreamed of pulling the goose's neck and getting that prized golden egg. The Family Booterie store in Hillsboro village had a fluoroscope that would show your feet inside the shoes you were trying on.  I wonder how many cooked feet resulted from that particular commercial gimmick. I can still hear their ad..."Two for the price of one plus a dollar, two for the price of one plus a dollar..."
Despite our parent's pleas not to drag our feet to stop our bikes,  soon large holes would appear in the soles and being a frugal generation it was off to the shoe repair store for new soles and heals. This was not a bad thing since while there we could get the newest accessory like lightning bolts or the ultimate... "multiple taps". We became a symphony of clicks in the school hall.
* and finally...
Remember when Nashville had a real theme park? (thanks Gaylord)

Price Comparison - 1950
Loaf of Bread 1 lb. of Butter 1 Doz. Eggs 1 Qt. Milk
$0.14 $0.78 $0.57 $0.22
Price Comparison - 1960
Loaf of Bread 1 lb. of Butter 1 Doz. Eggs 1 Qt. Milk
$0.19 $0.81 $0.57 $0.17
Price Comparison - 1970
Loaf of Bread 1 lb. of Butter 1 Doz. Eggs 1 Qt. Milk
$0.23 $0.93 $1.23 $0.33
Source: The Value of a Dollar, 1860-1989 edited by Scott Derks

According to
the consumer price index
$100 in 1950 = $742.32 in 2002

Cost of Living Calculator
Minimum wage in 1950 $.75
Minimum wage in 2002 $5.15

TIMELINE 1950-1972

1950 WSM brings Nashville its first television station, WSM-TV (Channel 4).
1950 Capitol Records becomes the first major company to locate it's director of country music in Nashville.
1955 Kelley v. The Board of Education leads to a school desegregation plan in Nashville.
1956 Phone numbers in Nashville and Davidson County now have named prefixes. Telephone number are published as TWilight 5-2471, ALpine 6-2674 or CHapel 2-6594.
1957 Davidson County's population is estimated at 368,514 with 47% living in Nashville and 53% living in the unincorporated areas.
1957 The "L&C" (Life and Casualty) Tower is completed downtown.
1960 The Nashville Sit-In Movement leads to widespread desegregation of public facilities.
1961 The Maxwell House Hotel is destroyed by fire.
1961 The Municipal Airport opens. (BNA history)
1962 Metropolitan government, to combine Nashville and Davidson County into one entity, is approved in a voters' referendum.
1962 Tennessee's first interstate highway, connecting Nashville with Memphis, arrives in Nashville.
1962 Municipal Auditorium opens hosting everything from concerts to circuses, auto shows to evangelical crusades, and trade shows to touring extravaganzas.
1963 Metropolitan government is formally inaugurated on April 1. County Judge Beverly Briley takes office as the first Mayor. Within its 533 square miles, Davidson County is home to an estimated population of 423,150.
1963 Nashville's Sulphur Dell ballpark, one of the most interesting and charismatic ballparks in all of baseball history with its sloping outfield and short right field fence, was razed in 1963. In its heyday, the "Dell" was a gathering place for all walks of life that watched the hometown Nashville Volunteers of the old Southern Association League.
1965 Tragedy struck the Fairgrounds in September, 1965 when a $10 million fire destroyed the grandstand, the Woman's Building and other exhibition buildings.
1967 Davidson County's voters approve liquor by the drink.
1968 Dr. Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., by James Earl Ray and Nashville braces for riots.
1972 Theme park Opryland USA opens in northeast Davidson County.
1975 Marcia Trimble's body is found in a neighborhood garage, 33 days after her disappearance on Easter Sunday. Nashville loses its innocence.

Post Card Collection

(Note: This time-capsule is a safety copy of above original page URL and images, for future storage & preservation!)



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